IRAN WATCH CANADA

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

For Immediate Release
Iran: No Justice for Bloody Crackdown
Unlawful Lethal Force, Families Threatened, Cover-Ups
(Beirut, February 24, 2020) – Iranian authorities have failed to hold security forces accountable for excessive and unlawful use of lethal force in confronting large-scale protests that began on November 15, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Members of the United Nations Human Rights Council should take urgent action to address the brutal crackdown.
Over three months later, the government has failed to announce the total number of deaths and arrests during the protests, which spread to many parts of the country over a week. Interviews with victims and witnesses, a review of photos and videos from the protests, and satellite imagery analysis strongly suggest that security forces used unlawful lethal force on at least three occasions. The total number of such cases is most likely higher.
“Iranian authorities have systematically repressed dissent for decades, and they are now confronting popular protests with an astonishing level of violence,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. Principled international voices should send an unequivocal message that Iran cannot get away with killing protesters.”  
The protests began over an abrupt fuel price increase, but they transformed into broader popular discontent with the government’s repression and perceived corruption. The government imposed a near-total internet shutdown from November 15 to 19.
Due to the internet shutdown and authorities’ threats against families of victims, documenting the full extent of the crackdown, including the total number of people killed, has been difficult. Amnesty International has estimated that at least 304 people were killed. The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) has verified the identities of more 100 people killed. Media reports indicate that the death toll may be much higher. A member of parliament put the number at 170, while official media outlets have reported the deaths at least 5 members of the security forces during the protests. One parliament member said about 7,000 people were arrested.
Four informed sources told Human Rights Watch that the authorities have banned families from conducting interviews with media and threatened them with retaliation if they do. On December 23, the authorities arrested several members of the Bakhtiari family after they called for a public mourning to commemorate the 40th day of their son’s death. On January 22, the authorities released Bakhtiari’s father, pending trial.
After initially greenlighting the crackdown, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was later quoted as saying that families of people killed who had not been protesting should be compensated, and that detained protesters should be treated with what he called “Islamic mercy.” However, nothing in Khamenei’s response to the events suggests that the security forces will be investigated for their excessive and unlawful use of force. Moreover, according to several media outlets, prison authorities have beaten and abused detained protesters. There are also reports of Iran’s revolutionary courts sentencing at least 3 arrested protesters to death.
Human Rights Watch interviewed nine people, including witnesses, victims’ family members, and others with firsthand knowledge of the security forces’ violent response to protests in Khuzestan, Fars, Kermanshah and Alborz provinces. Human Rights Watch also reviewed videos and photos of incidents in which security forces apparently used unlawful and excessive lethal force, as well as satellite imagery of some protest locations. The evidence strongly suggests that on at least three occasions, security forces used unlawful lethal force while responding to protesters who were blocking roads, or in some cases throwing stones and attempting to take over public buildings.
Photos and videos of the protests circulating on social media and verified by Human Rights Watch indicate that the Special Forces under the supervision of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as well as the Special Forces belonging to the Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran (NAJA), played major roles in the government’s violent crackdown.
People interviewed and videos on social media indicate that in at least three instances security forces shot people who were fleeing the scene of protests. One of these cases can be seen in a video posted online on November 17, 2019, recorded from Zeyn-Od-Din Highway overlooking Taleghani Street in Tehran. The video shows people on Taleghani Street starting a fire, while others throw what appear to be sticks and stones at security forces. About two dozen security force personnel are visible, dressed in black with a white stripe on their helmets. One of them opens fire at people on the street but it is unclear if anyone got hit.
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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Iran: Environmentalists’ Unjust Sentences Upheld
Detainees Faced Torture, Bogus Charges, Unfair Trials

(Beirut, February 19, 2020) – An Iranian revolutionary court has upheld the unjust sentences against eight environmental experts already detained for over two years, Human Rights Watch said today. Iranian authorities have failed to produce any evidence to support their charges against members of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation and should free them immediately.

On February 18, 2020, Gholamhossein Esmaili, Iran’s judiciary spokesman, confirmed at a news conference that a court of appeal had upheld sentences ranging from 6 to 10 years in prison against seven of the group’s members for “cooperating with the hostile state of the US.” Esmaili said the court also upheld a 4-year prison sentence for Abdolreza Kouhpayeh, another member of the group, for “assembly and collusion to act against national security.”

“Iran’s revolutionary courts are ‘revolutionary’ only in their ability to fabricate charges without evidence,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Two years on, there’s still not a shred of evidence against these environmental experts, and the authorities should release them immediately.”

The court upheld the 10-year sentences for Niloufar Bayani and Morad Tahbaz and ordered them to return allegedly “illicit income.” The court ordered Bayani to return US$360,000 of these “illicit funds;” authorities calculated this amount by multiplying Bayani’s latest annual salary from the United Nations Environment Programme, where she worked prior to joining the wildlife group, by her six years of working there, a source told Human Rights Watch.

The court also upheld the 8-year sentences for Houman Jokar and Taher Ghadirian on the charge of “cooperating with the hostile states of the US and Israel through spying against the Islamic Republic and in favor of the foreign intelligence services of the CIA and Mossad.” Likewise, the court of appeal upheld the 6-year sentences against Amir Hossein Khaleghian, Sepideh Kashani, and Sam Rajabi for “participating in spying against the Islamic Republic,” “participating in cooperation with the hostile state of the US,” and “cooperating with the hostile state of the US,” respectively.

The Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Organization arrested seven of the defendants on January 24 and 25, 2018, as well as Kavous Seyed Emami, an Iranian-Canadian university professor. The authorities arrested Kouhpayeh, who was tried with the seven other activists, on February 25. On February 10, 2018, family members of Seyed Emami reported that he had died in detention under suspicious circumstances. Iranian authorities claimed that he committed suicide, but they have not conducted an impartial investigation into his death and had banned his wife from traveling until October 2019.
On October 24, 2018, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, the Tehran prosecutor, said at a news conference that four detainees faced the charge of “sowing corruption on earth,” which includes the risk of the death penalty. He claimed that the activists were “seeking proximity to military sites with the cover of the environmental projects and obtaining military information from them.”

The environmental experts’ trial began in January 2019 but was halted in March. The trial resumed briefly in June but was halted again until it was concluded on November 2. Bayani had interrupted a trial session in February, saying that the defendants had been under psychological torture and were coerced into making false confessions. In a letter reviewed by Human Rights Watch, Bayani wrote that she has been threatened with injection of some substance in her arm by “rolling up her sleeves” and with torture by showing her “photos of torture devices.”

On October 14,  Esmaili, the judiciary spokesman, told the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) that the authorities were changing the charge of “sowing corruption on earth” to a charge of collaborating with US and Israel to spy. During the trial, judiciary officials did not allow the detainees to choose their own lawyer, forcing them to be represented by lawyers who were pre-approved by the judiciary. The list that was announced in June 2018 did not include any human rights lawyers.

Over the past two years, several senior Iranian government officials have indicated that they did not find any evidence to suggest that the detained activists are spies. On May 22, 2018, ISNA reported that Issa Kalantari, the head of Iran’s Environmental Institution, said during a speech at a biodiversity conference that the government had formed a committee consisting of the ministers of intelligence, interior, and justice and the president’s legal deputy, and that they had concluded there was no evidence to suggest those detained were spies.
On February 3, 2019, Mahmoud Sadeghi, a member of parliament from Tehran, tweeted that he had received information that the National Security Council headed by President Hassan Rouhani did not consider the activities of the detained environmentalists to be spying.

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Iran, please visit:
https://www.hrw.org/middle-east/n-africa/iran

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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Iran moves to deny Bahai minority from obtaining identity cards

New ID card regulation prevents the group from declaring their religious beliefs

Iran is preventing the country’s Bahai minority from obtaining a national identity card, in another setback to the persecuted group.
Authorities have removed the “other religions” option from the application process, meaning that those who belong to other faiths, including Bahais, could be deprived of basic civil rights.
Without an identity card, Bahais in Iran cannot apply for a loan, cash a cheque or buy property.
“The exclusion of the Iranian Bahai community from national identification cards is unconscionable, and we are disturbed to see how this action against the Bahais fits into a broader pattern of heightened persecution over the past few months,” Anthony Vance, director of the US Bahai office of public affairs, told The National.
Apart from Islam, only Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism are recognised under Iranian law as religious entities. 
The Bahai principles forbid people from lying about their religion. This means followers cannot apply for official documents and cannot claim they follow any of the three legally recognised religions.
Mr Vance urged the Iranian government to “reconsider this religiously motivated exclusion”.
He called on the international community to raise awareness about persecution against Iran’s Bahais, which has recently accelerated with a series of arrests, imprisonments and a court decision that paves the way for their property to be seized by the state because of their religious beliefs.
The UN says there are about 350,000 Bahai followers in Iran, making them the country’s biggest religious minority.
They say hundreds of followers have been jailed or executed since Iran’s revolution in 1979.
The Bahai faith was founded in Iran in 1844 and considers itself a universal religion. Iran’s Shiite religious establishment condemns the faith as heretical.
Violence against the minority group is not uncommon.
In Yemen, the group is also facing severe persecution. Several of its leaders are on trial in cases in Houthi rebel courts that have been condemned by the US and others as religious persecution.
More than 20 Bahais were accused of apostasy and espionage in a Sanaa court.

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Friday, January 24, 2020

Husband Of A Airplane Crash Victim Strongly Criticizes Islamic Regime Officials : Drunken In Power ، They Committed Crime ......

Iran International......

Javad Soleymani the husband of Elnaz Nabiei one of the Ukrainian plane crash victim strongly criticized the regime officials and about the  pressure put on families of those victims by regime intelligent officials , he called it as crime and the highest level of impudence / arrogance.

Mr. Soleymani by releasing a video recording on his Instagram page said: " The Islamic regime 's crime isn't just firing missiles to the Ukrainian passenger plane , but by knowing that it was a war situation ,used the passenger flights as a defence measure."

He told to military officials that: Why didn't you stop the passenger plane flights , when you knew the situation is critical and the American fighter planes are at the border of Iran and Iraq?
He said: " May be you did like American jets mistakenly shoot down the passenger plane? "

He added : Why you did lie for three days after the plane was shot down ? and you admitted it in a statement only after other countries reported that , the plane was shot down by revolutionary guards / Sepah Pasdaran.

Mr. Soleymani hold Ali Khamenei responsible and asked him to come forward and to answer the questions not Ali Hajizadeh the commander of Sepah's airspace defence forces.

He also said , he was summoned by intelligent agents who asked him to keep silent or else he would face consequences......

He also praised the approach Canadian Government took with the victims families compared to the regime in Iran .....

IRAN WATCH CANADA: Justice Delayed , Justice Denied !

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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Canadian Government Should Not Trust the Islamic Regime In Iran ....

When Zahra Kazemi the Iranian photo journalist was killed by Iranian judiciary officials including Said Mortazavi Tehran prosecutor , Canada demanded the body of Zahra Kazemi be repatriated to Canada , but regime in Iran buried her body despite of the request by her son Stephan Hashemi ( Hachemi ) a Canadian living in Montreal.

Now,  the Canadian Government is demanding again the bodies of those Iranian - Canadian killed in Plane crash be repatriated to Canada , but despite of repeated request by Canadian Government , because of pressure , threat and intimidation by regime on families of those killed back in Iran , the crash victims particularly those Canadian -Iranian are buried in Iran under regime scrutiny . In this circumstances usually regime agents threatens families to keep silent and not to speak with media or else they would face punishment .

According to news coming from Iran , during the burial ceremonies in the city of Sanandaj ( In Kurdistan -Iran ) and in Isfahan , Tehran , Ghom , Hamedan, Sabzevar, gorgan, Malayer , Zanjan, Taft and other cities .....people with anger chanted : Khamenei is a murderer and his regime is not legitimate ......, Basiji , Sepahi ,you are our Daesh ........They have killed our smart / intelligent people and put / installed clergies on us instead...........and .....

In the city of Mahabad ( a Kurdistan city ) when the people were carrying the body of victims from the crash , removed the Islamic regime flag from the coffin .....also in the city of Kermanshah people chanted against the regime.



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Friday, January 17, 2020

Justice For All the People On Board Of Ukrainian Plane flight PS 752......


Islamic regime in Iran is one of the worst regime in our current world . World must see and hear this regime like the Freedom loving people of Iran .

This regime is built on lies since the beginning of revolution. Khomeini the founder of the Islamic regime in Iran deceived all opposition and its own circle of supporters with lies. Before the revolution Khomeini promised the opposition including the communists groups for freedom for all , Freedom of Expression , justice and respect for all . He also promised the people for free hydro bills , or everyone would be given a house ....But of course later he got rid of them one by one . From Bazargan to Sadeq qotbzadeh to Banisader and others including all the oppositions.

Three days After the plane crash and denial by the regime in Iran, when the world pressure build up against them,  regime have admitted that its forces mistakenly brought down the plane by a surface to air missiles  killing all the 176 passengers  among them 82 Iranian  , 57 Iranian -Canadian , German , several Afghan , 11 Ukrainian , British and Swedish  .

So , Iranian people don't trust this regime in Iran and the Canadian Prime Minister and the rest of the Canadian officials and the world should be very careful when dealing with this regime .

Canadian Government must continue to call on Justice for all the victims of flight # PS752 national tragedy.

Canada should not act like naive .  Must stand strong to defend its own peoples interest , in this case to defend the victims and their families . The regime in Iran may play tricky games and to deceive the Government of Canada. Iranian want Justice ........


We the Iranian as well as the world will continue to watch  .........



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Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Mohammad Javad Larijani ,The Head Of The Department Of Human Rights Of The Regime Is Removed From His Post ...

According to news coming from Iran....

Last Sunday December 29 , the head of the department of human rights of the Islamic regime was removed from his post. Mohammad Javad Larijani was in this post since its establishment in 2005 . He was selected to this post at the time of Hashemi Shahroudi as the head of the judiciary power . And continued to serve in this post during the time of his brother Mohammad Sadegh Larijani when he became the head of the judiciary power after Shahroudi.

The judiciary power selected Ali Bagheri Kani as the new head of the department of human rights of the judiciary power.

From now on , Mr. Bagheri will respond to the questions of the international societies.
The brother of Ali Bagheri Kani is the son in law of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei the leader of the Islamic regime.

IRAN WATCH CANADA: What Mohammad Javad Larijani did during all these years as the head of human rights department of the regime was to colour the frog and sale it as the canaries in the international forums . Time and time he denied any violation of human rights exist under the rule of the " Islamic Republic " of Iran . His records will says it all, when an independent international human rights body would investigate the human rights situation in Iran. Its no wonder he is being removed from the post when there are clear evidence in the killings of 1500 innocent young Iranian including 17 teen ager and 400 women reported by the reuters in just the last months uprising. At the time of shah ,his sister Ashraf was the head of the human rights and now Khamenei's son in law's brother is the head of human rights.  




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